The story so far…..
The ALNET Bill was referred to the Children, Young People and Education Committee for scrutiny and consideration of the general principles in November 2016 and a deadline of 12 May 2017 was set for the Committee to report on its general principles.
The committee met with and heard from many stakeholders; including the views of children and young people with ALN through an online survey and parents and carers of those with ALN at an event facilitated by SNAP Cymru.
The committee supported much of the general principles of the Bill, although the evidence they received highlighted many concerns about implementation.
“Simply passing the legislation will not address the deeper underlying problems within the current system.” Lynne Neagle Chair
Nobody should underestimate the scale of this agenda. Over 100,000 pupils in schools have SEN or ALN, which is over one in five of all children. The Committee has made 48 recommendations aimed at strengthening not just the Bill itself, but also the wider proposals for reform of the system.
The key issues that emerged and recommendations are included in the Committees publication
The deadline for Stage 2 committee proceedings has been amended from 21 July 2017 to 20 October 2017 following concerns raised by SNAP Cymru regarding the cost savings in the Bill. SNAP Cymru felt the figures were drastically inaccurate and did not agree with the Government’s view ‘that disagreements will automatically be reduced as a result of the introduction of the bill’ Rather, SNAP Cymru fear there may be an increase in disagreements during transition in the short term.
SNAP Cymru Casework with concerned families ahead of the implementation of the Bill has risen by 13% in the last year and the number of ‘problems or issues’ brought by individual families to our service has doubled.
Options for implementing the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill where consulted on from February – June this year and the responses are still being reviewed. Details of the outcome will be published here in due course.
It is clear that there should be a mandatory phase to ensure the successful implementation of the new Bill, however SNAP Cymru continue to be concerned that LA’s are rolling out IDP’s before the legal framework is in place, leaving current IDP’s as non statutory plans for children and young people. If parents have concerns they should contact our telephone advice line 08451203730
For a summary of the Bill>